…Land for project just acquired, after about 40 years!***
The Chairman, House Committee on Power, Rep. Magaji Aliyu on Monday lamented that the over 40 years Mambilla Power Project was a huge public deception, as it only existed on books and papers.
Aliyu said this when the House of Representatives Committee on Power, paid an oversight visit to the Ministry of Power in Abuja.
The Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project is a 3,050 MW hydroelectric power project under development in Nigeria. It is expected, when completed, to be the largest power-generating installation in Nigeria, and one of the largest hydroelectric power stations in Africa.
His observation came on the heel of a Right of Way report from the Director, Renewable Energy & Rural Power Access, Mr Faruk Yabo, who disclosed that the land for the project had just been acquired.
Yabo, who is the Chairman of the Project Implementation Committee on Mambilla Power Project, told Rep. Aliyu that there was no legal title to the land until now.
“Everybody knows there is a Mambilla power project, but there is no legal title to the land, so the ministry and Taraba Government are working on this.
“There was never anything like Mambilla Power Project as it existed only in books and papers before this government came to power.
“The committee wishes to appreciate the efforts of Mr. President for the approval of funds and other activities geared towards kick-starting the Mambilla Power Project.
“This also is an indication of government’s display of political will in providing adequate and speedy power supply to Nigerians, ‘’ Yabo said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Alyu said that the provisions of Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 with regards to successor companies, shows clearly that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) is any agency under the Ministry of Power.
“It is my opinion that the alleged decision to move the NBET from the Ministry of Power to the Ministry of Finance is akin to hitting the Self-destruct button.
”We cannot afford to play politics with an issue as sensitive and as vital as this.
“I therefore wish to use this medium to reiterate that as far as the National Assembly is concerned NBET still remains an agency under the ministry of power.
“If NBET is not returned to the Ministry of Power, NASS will not appropriate fund to the company in 2021 budget ‘’ he warned.
The chairman said that the House of Representatives and the entire NASS was inquisitive about the slow rate of implementation of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) act, 2020 and its subsequent amendment.
“HYPPADEC was established to plan and implement projects for the physical development of hydroelectric power producing areas and to tackle the ecological problems associated with operation of hydroelectric dams in the member states.
“I wish to draw your attention to our earlier resolution that HYPPADEC should commence operation by January 1, 2020, ‘’ he said.
Earlier, Minister of Power, Mr Sale Mamman said that the committee was aware of the problem in the power sector.
Mamman said that the sector was a critical one that needed more attention.
“We appreciate that you provide all necessary attention and support that we may need, ‘’ mamman said.
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The minister said that the ministry had initiated policies and strategies for sustainable development of reliable power supply in the country.
He listed the area of focus for sustainable development of the power sector to include infrastructure alignment, market efficiency and transparency.
Others, he said, were corporate governance/sector policy coordination, increase energy access and execution of legacy projects.
The Minister, however, said that inadequate budgetary provision and untimely release of funds remained a challenge.
Perhaps, Nigerians may soon begin to demand to know how much successive governments have so far, sunk into a project which existed, according to Rep. Magaji Aliyu, only on paper.